AFC Leopards earn walkover at Bukhungu, Sofapaka narrows gap on Gor Mahia
AFC Leopards leapfrogged Ulinzi Stars into the eighth place on the SportPesa Premier League table standings courtesy of yesterday's 2-0 walkover win against Nzoia Sugar at Bukhungu Stadium.
This happened before Kakamega Homeboyz's nine-game unbeaten came to halt after losing 3-1 to Tusker at the same venue as Sofapaka revived their title hopes with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Posta Rangers in Machakos.
Ugandan import Umar Kasumba scored the second goal to go level on 15 goals with top-joint goalscorers Kakamega Homeboyz's Allan Wanga and Ulinzi Stars' Enosh Ochieng on the top scorer's chart.
The victory saw Sofapaka narrow the gap on league leaders Gor Mahia (58) to six points. John Avire and George Maelo were also on target for Batoto Ba Mungu.
Leopards were awarded the easy-three points after Nzoia failed to turn up in Kakamega insisting that the game was supposed to be played at Mumias Sports Complex, their alternative home ground.
The decision took Leopards' points tally to 37, two more than Ulinzi who take on Bandari in Mombasa today.
Youngster David Majak opened his Tusker account in the 39th minute of the second match at Bukhungu before Boniface Muchiri added the second a minute later. Jackson Macharia extended the lead for the brewers a minute into the second half before Daniel Sakari pulled one back for the hosts.
And with joint top scorer Allan Wanga having failed to score, the golden boot race is now firmly up for grabs after the other three contenders scored for their respective clubs.
Apart from Kasumba, Cliff Nyakeya and Derrick Otanga bagged a brace each in Mathare United and Sony Sugar's identical 3-1 win against the relegation-threatened duo of Zoo and Vihiga United. Nyakeya took his tally to eleven one more than Otanga.
Elsewhere, ten-man Western Stima ended a 13 game winless run in the league with a 3-0 victory over bottom rooted Mt. Kenya United at Kenyatta Stadium.
Kennedy Otieno opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a solo effort before goalkeeper Samuel Onyango doubled the lead from the spot in the 75th minute.
Henry Onyango then came off the bench to hit the final nail in Mt Kenya's casket in stoppage time.
Stima had to play the last 37 minutes with one man less after captain Vincent Omumbo was sent off for a second bookable offence.
But the victory was a big relief for their new coach Salim Babu as he seeks to help the 13th placed power men avoid relegation.
"It was a great bounce back from the Sony Sugar defeat. It is long since we last tasted a win. I believe today's result has eased pressure on the boys and build their confidence ahead of our next match," Babu said.
Yesterday's SPL results
Chemelil Sugar 2-2 Kariobangi Sharks
Sony Sugar 3-1 Vihiga United
Nzoia Sugar 0-2 AFC Leopards (walk-over)
Mt Kenya United 0-3 Western Stima
Mathare United 3-1 Zoo Kericho
Kakamega Homeboyz 1-3 Tusker
Gor Mahia v KCB-Machakos (3 pm)
Bandari v Ulinzi Stars-Mbaraki (3 pm)
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